An uplifting evening

My thanks to all who toddled along to Stoke Library in Plymouth on Thursday for the Murder Mystery evening. I had a splendid time, and I think from the reaction of the audience that they did too.

The Writers' Club plot was beautifully put together, supremely well performed, and kept everyone guessing as to who may have been the killer, myself included.

And who would ever suspect the vicar's wife, eh?!  Scandal!

But a particular thanks must go to all those who were kind enough to come have a chat and be so very warm and encouraging about my fledgling... Read more

A sparkle in the darkness

I was just looking through the plans and plot for tomorrow's Murder Mystery Night in Plymouth, and it started me musing on the subject of ideas and where they come from.

The title of this blog is the way I often think of the arrival of a new idea - as though you're looking into a great dark sky, searching for something, and suddenly comes this spray of light.  It's an instant transformation, from incomprehension to understanding, and can even leave me breathless. 

In the tvdetective books, Dan too sometimes marvels at that wonderful moment when he sees the... Read more


Nothing too heavy for this fair Saturday morning, fear not, just a few thoughts to follow up last week's musings on Treasured Hates, my dear friend Adam, and his dislike of ill mannered behaviour.

Writing books is a wonderful way of taking revenge, or even vengeance on people in a suble, and commonly not so subtle manner.

It has been noted in the tvdetective series that I can descend into what the kinder readers describe as "social commentary", the more straightforward ones "a bit of a rant" about a particular subject, or group of people, who have the misfortune of... Read more


The fair city of Exeter has been full of beaming young faces and wonderfully proud parents this week.  It's graduation time, and very touching too.

It's drawn in my emotions for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, I'm lucky enough to be an occasional teacher at Exeter, passing on what scraps I know of the media and how to go about getting a job in this curious industry.  As part of that I mentor students, and it's always a delight to see them graduating and heading outwards and upwards for the career of their choice.

It all feels like a nervous... Read more

Treasured hates

I received an email this week; one which was mostly a comment on the tvdetective books, but contained a question too.  I liked it, and lots in fact, so here comes my answer...

My correspondent was kind enough to tell me of his enjoyment of the series, and his particular fondness for Adam. It's our detective friend's upright and moral ways which were most appealing, and importantly his dedicated dislike of ill manners.

Mobile phones, and their inconsiderate use was a key theme.  As you might expect, Adam has to have a mobile, but doesn't greatly care for it.  If... Read more


I've always been dreadful at just whiling away time.  It's something I've never really got the hang of.

Don't get me wrong, I love moments of leisure.  Sitting by the river, watching a cormorant fishing, or the ducks swimming their endless circles, finding the corner of a pub for a quiet pint, or just strolling through the wonderful Devon countryside, they're all firm favourites.  It's just that while I'm doing any of that, I'm usually thinking about some idea for a new book, or how to write a particular scene, or maybe some element of teaching work.  My mind just... Read more

Mind and body

It's Saturday morning, I'm up early after a kindly and refreshing night's sleep (the week was a 7, perhaps a little more on the Hall rush around like a fool/ get stressed scale), I'm in my study, looking out over a yellow sunlight Exeter, and I'm contemplating some exercise.

For me it comes in two forms.  There's the straightforward go to the gym, do a bit of running, some rowing and a few weights, or there's the jog around the river.  The latter is my favourite by far; it's much more interesting in terms of scenery, fresh air and... Read more

The ups and downs of television

Something I'm often asked is whether I'd like to see the tvdetective books take to the small screen.

The obvious answer is - of course!  I'd be delighted at so many more people being able to enjoy (hopefully!) the series.

There are, however, a couple of layers of caveats behind that. The first is - and this is a curious irony, given my day job - I'm not much fond of television.

That's an oversimplification, in fact.  I believe TV has enormous potential to do great good and provide a fascinating insight to the world.  Just think of those... Read more

My ideal woman

A brilliant question has arrived - cheeky, but great. 

I usually keep a rough log of what questions I have to answer in these little rambles, and try to be good and British by addressing them in the order they find themselves in the queue.  But in this case, because it's such a good question, it's been promoted.

It's this - is Claire my ideal woman?

My correspondent believes she detects more than a certain softness towards Claire in my writing, and perhaps an irritation regarding how Dan (in his bumbling, idiot of emotion way) treats her.  The question... Read more